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Miss Mary's Money: Fortune and Misfortune in…

Miss Mary's Money: Fortune and Misfortune in a North Carolina Plantation…

by H. G. Jones

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786496622, Paperback)

Every "legitimate" member of Revolutionary War soldier Francis Jones's family (including his son-in-law Congressman James Strudwick Smith) lies in a small cemetery near where the Smiths' enslaved maid Harriet gave birth to four daughters, one fathered by Jones's white lawyer grandson, three by the white physician grandson. The four girls grew up with two "mothers", for Miss Mary Ruffin Smith, spinster sister of the licentious boys, took them into the big house, baptized them into the Episcopal Church, and then guided them to marriage to respectable biracial men. One great-great-grandchild, Pauli Murray, became the first African-American woman to be admitted to the clergy of the Episcopal Church and has recently been named a saint in that denomination. Her book Proud Shoes is based on her grandmother's memories. The last "legitimate" survivor in her family, Miss Mary Ruffin Smith left each biracial niece a token hundred acres. The remainder of the Jones-Smith fortune she willed (1) to the University of North Carolina for the establishment of scholarships and the development of its campus utilities, and (2) to the work of the North Carolina dioceses of the Episcopal Church, including saving St. Mary's School in Raleigh and supporting the Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:55 -0400)

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